I started using my new WP7 phone with the standard set of tiles, think about 12, just like everyone else. Since then I have been adding/deleting tiles regularly as i install new apps or find different uses for my phone. I am now up to 17 rows, 28 single wide and 3 double wide tiles, and starting to wonder how many is too many. I do a good amount of flicking tiles every day, not nearly as much as I do with the 114 titles in my Apps list though. I think I am at a bearable number now but as I continue to find new stuff I wonder what it will be like with 20 or 25 rows to flip through.

Aside from the default tiles that everyone started with, I have added some stuff that I find important enough to find a place on the Start screen, or at least things that I like to have ready access to:

  • Favorite People – Enough said – Has to be on Start screen near the top.
  • Weather Channel – This one and Weatherbug still fighting it out (Weather Channel is winning) and a must have.
  • Mail – Got three of these and use them all day long so they go near the top as well.
  • Beezz – Need that Twitter client with Live Tile visible.
  • WinMilk – Task app that gets used often – Hoping (really hoping) for a Live Tile soon.
  • IE & Metro Browser – I have these side by side. I sort of like the features of both so not ready to delegate either to the “long” list.
  • ICE Alert – I know EMT’s don’t look for it, but it still makes me feel safer.
  • HTC Hub – Don’t know why I still have this up and will probably be the first to go. Sort of using it as a break right now between essentials and extras.
  • Scores & SportsScores – These two apps are fighting it out (SportsScores is winning). Eventually one will go giving up the space to a more deserving app. FYI, SportsScores just delivered another update. Yah.
  • Parcel Tracker – Don’t use this everyday, but when I do I like to have quick access to it. The last update actually shows you on a map exactly where your package is. Now that’s cool.
  • Office – Don’t remember if this was up by default, but I brought it back now that I am using OneNote regularly after updating to OneNote 2010 on my desktop.
  • Weave & IMG News Reader – Side by side RSS readers that I use every day.
  • Smart Shopping – Add to this one a few times a week and then walk around the store tapping off the stuff I put in my cart.
  • Note2Self – Not essential, but if I delegate it to the long list, might as well delete it as I will never go through the trouble to find it. Currently only text to send to yourself via email but still hoping for an update that includes a quick voice note with single tap activation.
  • Lists & Notes – Side by side, for the lucky HTC users out there, two simple apps that I use regularly to jot things onto. Reminds me how much I miss Cut & Paste when I add or want to pull something off these lists.
  • Settings & Marketplace – At the bottom of my Start screen so I can do a quick flick down and get to either one quickly.


I would still like to see some kind of Favorites list in a future update, either as a single flick left with the full Apps list as a second flick left, or at the top of the Apps list, with some kind of break to delineate the two lists. And of course, add the metro alpha lookup to the Apps list, please. With Favorites I could probably cut away 6 or 8 of my current tiles, making room for new stuff, especially Live tiles. And add a few from the long list that I don’t use everyday, but often enough. A couple that I would like to add to Start, but am hesitating with; MyBookie, so I don’t forget to place/check my bets & Horoscopes & Tarot that I do access everyday.

As everyone’s needs differ I am sure your Start screen looks nothing like mine. But wondering how many rows are a comfortable compromise, more than 17, less.  And are you trying to manage your Start tiles like me or just throwing stuff up there with random abandonment.


  1. @Jimski – I like your idea of another swipe from the home screen, but if you think about it, MS already has a great start screen on the Zune HD. If I can make another swipe from the home screen and get the Zune HD start screen, I’d be a happy camper.

    Just think about it, one swipe and you get a recently accessed apps/photos/videos (which will also solve half of the multitasking problem), scroll up to get the list of newly downloaded apps/games/music… I think they can do away with the Favorite/Pinned list since the home screen is already the favorite list.

    It’s certainly possible since it has been done, I just don’t see why it’s hasn’t been implemented.

  2. I think carefully about what I pin to the start screen. Everything is placed with a specific rhyme & reason. Here are some of my pairings. Zune/Shazam, seesmic/twitter, Xbox Live/Marketplace, flixster/fandango, gmail/comcast, Me tile/Wife’s Tile, Phone/People.

    Like you I keep similar function tiles paired. I do keep 2-4 of the most important OneNote filed pinned to the bottom.

    Honestly, the speed you can flick the start screen makes it no more than 1-2 seconds max to find what you’re looking for.

  3. First screen for apps: phone, people, mail, hotmail, messenging, IE, me, the wife, second screen for my 8 best friends

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